Office 365 Licensing Finally Got Me

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I’ve been working in SharePoint for an eternity and in Office 365 long enough to know better yet here we are.  We had a customer request a dirt simple MS Flow to dump an Excel from SharePoint to a local file share on their network so that it could be pulled into a 3rd party tool.  We had just done something far more complex for a similar size/type of customer, so I just glanced at the Flow Pricing page to make sure the on-premises data gateway was listed for Office 365 as I’m always paranoid about licensing, sure enough it was there.  Verified permissions were good to go and I was confident we could knock this thing out in an hour…wrong!

First bit of trouble came when attempting to install the On-Premises Data Gateway. Usually this setup just works but if you’re installing it on a locked down server it becomes a bit more complex.  We had to work with the Systems Administrators to get things setup properly which added some time to the effort and they had questions about the implementation and maintenance (which they should). Once we did manage to get things squared away on the server I was out of the office traveling.

3 days later I finally registered the gateway and setup the test scenario for the MS Flow. I grabbed the Copy files from SharePoint to your PC flow template and setup the connection details. Everything went as expected until I clicked Create.  I was greeted with the message “Failed to create connection for connection id. Your license(s) doesn’t support use of gateways. To use this feature, start a trial.”   Remember me indicating “I glanced at the Flow Pricing page”, should have done more than glanced.

Got me

Had I investigated what that little 2 meant versus just seeing the check box and moving on I would have realized that the customers Office 365 Business Essentials licenses won’t allow us to use an On-Premises Data Gateway.  In fact, you cannot use On-Premises Data Gateways on E1 plans either…bummer. In this scenario they can go with a Flow Plan 1 license for an additional $5.00 a user per month so it’s not the end of the world however let this be a cautionary tale…when it comes to Office 365 licensing: Always read the fine print😉!

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